Turn on the TV, Tai Verdes is back in HD

Cameron Levasseur, Sports Editor

Illustration by (Alex Kendall)

The album may be called “HDTV,” but Tai Verdes’ latest release is nothing short of 4K.

The 26-year-old’s sophomore studio project is a genre-blending, infectious masterpiece that makes you want to fall in love. Whether that’s with life, a person or his music, that’s up to interpretation.

Verdes, whose real name is Tyler Colon, draws his stage name from his hometown of Rancho Palos Verdes, California, located in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. That’s where Verdes was, working as a sales associate at Verizon when he suddenly rose to fame after his breakout single “Stuck in the Middle” blew up on TikTok in the summer of 2020.

Fast forward two years, and the social media star is now expanding his own network nationwide, already on the road for a 22-show tour hitting cities from Burlington, Vermont to Boise, Idaho.

The artist’s versatility in genre, flow and style make the 20-song album a smooth listen from front to back. Each track is uniquely different from the rest, and Verdes’ ability to seamlessly switch his flow from singing to rapping and back creates the illusion of many voices on the featureless project.

From pop to hip-hop to R&B, he’s able to span multiple genres over the course of a single song, creating a unique listening experience.

Verdes embodies the “bedroom pop” style that has been on the rise in the music industry over the past few years as software and equipment like Logic Pro has become more readily available to the normal person.

While he’s now signed to a label and presumably creating his music in a studio, the relatability and authenticity of Verdes’ music prevails on his newest record, giving it the same feel as his previous releases.

With the upgrade in resolution from his debut album “TV,” the lyrics throughout “HDTV” seem to suggest that Verdes himself has developed clearer vision. While the former project sees him in the struggle to escape a breakup rut, this past week’s release is pervasively happy, finding a central theme in moving on and finding love again.

In the album’s lead single “LAst dAy oN EaRTh,” Verdes ponders what he would do if only had a day left to live, circling in on what he really values in life. This carefree, lighthearted tone carries throughout the project, exemplified in songs like “TWO SUGARS” and “Clyde & Bonnie.”

Even on the more melancholy tracks, such as “100sadsongs” and “Lost Myself”, Verdes remains upbeat, with lines like “…life ain’t getting much sweeter than this,” and “I can make rain turn into sunshine regardless…”

The album’s final track “in this movie” seems to suggest that Verdes’ next project will depart from the realm of television for the big screen, continuing to develop a cohesive discography theme similar to Ed Sheeran’s mathematics universe or Ye’s trio of “The College Dropout,” “Late Registration” and “Graduation.”

As a whole, Verdes’ ode to life itself on “HDTV” delivers exactly as promised. His evolution both as an artist and an individual is very visible, with catchy lyrics, fun guitar riffs and genre-spanning music tailored to a younger generation that make the project an enjoyable listen throughout.